SpaceX rocket launch DELAYED AGAIN after US Government shutdown over funding dispute | Science | News

The Australian entrepreneur’s space project has been hit by a number of issues in recent months, missing its target to launch the rocket by the end of 2017.

However, the failure of the US Government to agree on a budget, leading to a temporary shutdown of federal services, has put back the launch of the private rocket until further notice.

While a budget was agreed by the Senate yesterday, allowing the Government to reopen, it is not yet known when Mr Musk will be able to launch his latest invention.

SpaceX relies on resources from NASA and the US Air Force’s 45th Space Wing, both of which were not in operation during the shutdown, to launch its rocket.

In a statement SpaceX spokesman, John Taylor, said: “We remain hopeful that the Congress will quickly resolve their differences and put our partners in the Air Force and NASA back to doing their important work as soon as possible.

“This shutdown impacts SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy demonstration, which is critical for future NSS missions.

“It also impacts critical missions for our customers, including important international allies scheduled to launch shortly from Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base, as well as upcoming missions this spring to resupply the International Space Station.”

The US Space Agency had been forced to send some staff home without pay during the shutdown.

With personnel from the federal organisation used by SpaceX to assist with operations, Mr Musk’s rocket launch was forced to be postponed.

NASA tweeted to say that ”all public NASA activities and events are cancelled or postponed until further notice” following the US Government’s failure to agree to a budget.

Meanwhile, the 45th Space Wing said tweeted to say the lack of an agreement would “unfortunately disrupt the lives and operations” of the Air Force.

However, the private space exploration venture had faced a number of other setbacks prior to Government budget deadlock.

The Falcon Heavy was due to perform a series of static-fire tests last week but were twice postponed due to “logistical and safety concerns”.

Launch tests at the start of the month were also postponed as severe US weather made conditions too dangerous.

The weather bomb cyclone, known as a bombogenesis, was sweeping across the east coast of the US, including New York, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Florida at the time.

The launch was due to take place at the Kennedy Space Centre Florida.

Aerospace engineers first aimed to have the rocket ready for mid-November, before being delayed to analyse data from a previous mission.

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